Healthy Living

Are the Health Risks of MSG Sneaking Into Your Life?

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health risks msgIf you’re already aware of the health risks of MSG, you might not know that it’s sneaking back into your life under a different name or label.

If you’re uninitiated in the dangers of MSG, here’s a quick recap:

MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate, is a dietary hazard hidden under the guise of a flavor enhancer. It improves the meaty and savory flavor of most foods.

Its main function is to change how our taste buds work, transforming unpleasant food flavors into passable treats. The particularly worrying part is that some studies have found that this food compound may gradually condition your body and your sense of taste to yearn for MSG.

Meaning that as long as anything, now matter how unpleasant or unhealthy some dish might be, will taste somewhat appealing to a palate conditioned to MSG.

Developed almost one hundred years ago in Japan, MSG was originally marketed as the “essence of flavor” by 1909. Since then, it became a staple of most restaurants as a quick fix-me-up for most dishes.

And so things went on uninterrupted until the 1970s, when multiple studies commissioned by FDA revealed some worrying side effects from the food additive. Chief amongst them was that it was linked as possible carcinogen and long-term health complications.

The FDA in turn, made sure to ban MSG from the category of condiment and labeled it as a food additive.

Now to the most worrying part, its effects on your overall health:

In case you missed it before, here are the most common MSG side effects I’ve found.

If you’re in the mood for a quick synopsis, I’ve got you covered.

MSG can affect multiple organ systems, especially if it’s steadily incorporated in your diet.

It can cause swelling and irritation in your circulatory system. If you’re already suffering from high blood pressure or tachycardia, a MSG heavy diet can cause severe complications.

Despite being so tasty in can also cause complications in your digestive system, ranging from nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.

And finally, if you’re already suffering or coping with depression, MSG can cause severe mood swings or exacerbate an already powerful depression.

It also can be potential hazard for your children’s diets because it’s so ubiquitous in mayor formulas and snacks.

Ok, so how is something that is so potentially dangerous still in our snacks and restaurants?

MSG is now marketed under different names or ingredients.

So if you want to avoid this, keep an eye out for these chief offenders in any ingredient list.

First of all, keep an eye out for combinations containing glutamate. These contain the glutamic acid that is one of the most damaging components of MSG.

Be sure you avoid soy sauce because it packs a ton of glutamic acid.

As usual, be vigilant of processed proteins like textured protein, yeast protein, or soy protein.

As I’ve advocated since I’ve started this site, the key to healthy holistic diet is to replace heavily processed foods with meals made from completely natural ingredients.

Sources:

http://faculty.georgetown.edu/sandj/MSG_Gastronomica_Fall05.pdf

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/monosodium-glutamate/faq-20058196

Image Source: The Chinese Quest

 

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